City Road Primary School – Sensory Garden

Background

City Road Primary School is situated in the Rotton Park area of North Edgbaston.

Challenge

With support from Millennium Point Charitable Trust City Road Primary School will create a Sensory Garden for its Early Years pupils. The EYFS (early years foundation stage) outdoor area has been chosen as the dedicated space for this project.

To start the project KS2 children will create designs based on a given criteria (outline of the area, needs of children in Early Years, budget and safety aspects). The winning design will be a combination of ideas from children in each KS2 year group.

The garden will feature plants (herbs and flowers), solar panel lighting, wind chimes, suncatchers, mirrors and bird houses. Building raised beds for fruit and vegetables is also included in the project with room for expansion for a solar water feature, a seating area for quiet time and a colourful path linking all the areas depending on budget.

The design aspect of this project will build pride in the school and children will hopefully develop a great sense of ownership for the development of the garden. Once built, KS2 children will be timetabled to maintain the area and be responsible for its upkeep as part of their science curriculum. This will ensure that the sensory garden will continue to build the school community and that it will be maintained for years to come.

The sensory garden will provide a great stimulus for developing communication, social skills and an understanding of the world. The design and build of this project will promote STEM throughout the school and community and create a sustainable area which will support teaching and learning for all children as part of the Early Years outdoor learning strand and KS1 and 2’s Science curriculum. This should inspire children’s aspirations and understanding of STEM careers.

What impact has it made?

All pupils at City Road Primary will benefit. The early years children will have daily use of this exciting learning space to develop communication and social skills, whilst the older children in other year groups will have a sense of responsibility as they will have time to maintain the area in the future. Sessions in the sensory garden will be embedded in the school’s curriculum, thereby ensuring that it will form part of the teaching of STEM subjects in subsequent academic years.

There are four key milestones during the project:

  • Designs – in October the children’s design competition will begin with the winning designs chosen in November
  • Creation – in January CAD Designs of the garden will be created using aspects from a number of the children’s ideas. Once there is a plan the build will begin with members of the community, school and pupils
  • Unveil – a grand opening will be planned during the early summer months to unveil the Sensory Garden
  • Continuity / upkeep – once built, KS2 children will maintain the area and be responsible for its upkeep as part of their science curriculum
Why did they receive a small grant?

The sensory garden project showed a great opportunity for developing the students communication, social skills and understanding of the world through the process of building this project. The project is a great example of promoting STEM throughout the school while developing young students skills set.

We are so excited about this project. A high percentage of our children are from a minority ethnic background within a socially deprived area. In the locality, there is a growing number of families living in overcrowded houses with no outdoor space and as a result some of these children have little or no experience of growing plants outdoors or of the natural world. This project will expose them to new experiences which they would not otherwise have, understanding sustainability, growing and the importance of outdoor learning through play.

Many of the KS2 students involved in the design of the garden have younger siblings in reception and nursery, and will remember and discuss their time in the same area. The Sensory Garden will emphasise how we are linking learning across the school and promote the excellent work the children have done. We hope to celebrate with a grand opening once the garden is complete!

Sarvjeet Jandu, Assistant Head Teacher, City Road Primary School

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What We Funded
  • A Sensory Garden for early years pupils.
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